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Wesley Brown MD, PhD

    Education & Training

  • University of Pittsburgh, MD, 2024
  • University of Pittsburgh, PhD, 2022
  • Oregon State University, BA, 2016
Representative Publications

Cell Lineage Tracing in Zebrafish Embryos with an Expanded Genetic Code Brown, W.; Liu, J.; Tsang, M.; Deiters, A. ChemBioChem 2018, 19, 1244-1249. Highlighted as a Very Important Paper by ChemBioChem.

Light-Activation of Cre Recombinase in Zebrafish Embryos through Genetic Code Expansion, Brown, W.; Deiters, A. Methods Enzym. 2019, 624, 265-281.

Zhou W, Brown W, Bardhan A, Delaney M, Ilk AS, Rauen RR, Kahn SI, Tsang M, Deiters A. Spatiotemporal Control of CRISPR/Cas9 Function in Cells and Zebrafish using Light-Activated Guide RNA. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Jun 2;59(23):8998-9003. doi: 10.1002/anie.201914575. Epub 2020 Apr 6. PMID: 32160370; PMCID: PMC7250724.

Brown W, Liu J, Deiters A. Genetic Code Expansion in Animals. ACS Chem Biol. 2018;13(9):2375-86. Epub 2018/08/21. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.8b00520. PubMed PMID: 30125487; PMCID: PMC7026698.

Brown W, Zhou W, Deiters A. Regulating CRISPR/Cas9 Function through Conditional Guide RNA Control. Chembiochem. 2021;22(1):63-72. Epub 2020/08/25. doi: 10.1002/cbic.202000423. PubMed PMID: 32833316.

Zhou, W., Brown, W., Bardhan, A., Tsang, M., & Deiters, A. (2021). Optical Control of Base Editing and Transcription through Light‐Activated Guide RNA. ChemPhotoChem, 5(11), 984-988.

Brown, W., Bardhan, A., Darrah, K., Tsang, M., & Deiters, A. (2022). Optical Control of MicroRNA Function in Zebrafish Embryos. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 144(37), 16819-16826.

Brown, W., Albright, S., Tsang, M., & Deiters, A. (2022). Optogenetic Protein Cleavage in Zebrafish Embryos. ChemBioChem, e202200297.

Brown, W., Galpin, J. D., Rosenblum, C., Tsang, M., Ahern, C. A., & Deiters, A. (2023). Chemically Acylated tRNAs are Functional in Zebrafish Embryos. Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Brown, W., Wesalo, J., Tsang, M., & Deiters, A. (2023). Engineering small molecule switches of protein function in zebrafish embryos. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 145(4), 2395-2403.

Brown, W., Rosenblum, C., & Deiters, A. (2023). Small-Molecule Phosphine Activation of Protein Function in Zebrafish Embryos with an Expanded Genetic Code. In Genetically Incorporated Non-Canonical Amino Acids: Methods and Protocols (pp. 247-263). New York, NY: Springer US.

Brown, W., Wesalo, J., Samanta, S., Luo, J., Caldwell, S. E., Tsang, M., & Deiters, A. (2023). Genetically Encoded Aminocoumarin Lysine for Optical Control of Protein–Nucleotide Interactions in Zebrafish Embryos. ACS Chemical Biology.

Brown W, Davidson LA, Deiters A. Expanding the Genetic Code of Xenopus laevis Embryos. ACS Chem Biol. 2024 Feb 16;19(2):516-525. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.3c00686. Epub 2024 Jan 26. PMID: 38277773; PMCID: PMC10877573.


Research Interests

My PhD research in Dr. Alexander Deiters lab focused on designing methods for conditional control of protein and gene function in aquatic embryos (Zebrafish and Xenopus) and implementing this to study early developmental processes. Using blue light or a small molecule as a trigger, we were able to:1) study how a mutant RAS/MAPK protein disrupts heart development and gastrulation in the developing embryo, 2) gain insight on how an evolutionarily conserved miRNA impacts heart development and gastrulation, and 3) restrict CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing and gene activation to specific developmental timepoints.

Career Advisor
Pei Tang
Thesis Advisor
Alex Deiters, PhD
Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology
Dissertation Title

Conditional Control of Protein Function in Aquatic Embryos

Graduate Year
Training Start Year